Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Nonna's Spaghetti and Broccoli

A one dish meatless meal that's creamy cheesy Italian American comfort food straight from Nonna's kitchen.
Author: Meaghan @ 4 Sons R Us


  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1- pound spaghetti broken into 2-3" pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 12 oz pkgs fresh broccoli florets
  • 8-10 cloves garlic peeled, crushed, and minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated Romano cheese or more to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional


  • Fill an 8-quart pot just under 3/4s full of water. Stir in the salt and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Stir in the spaghetti,oil, garlic, pepper, and broccoli.
  • Bring the mixture back to a boil and let boil for about 2-3 minutes. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for about an an hour and a half, stirring every 15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  • At the 45 minute mark, stir in the romano cheese, until melted and evenly incorporated. As soon as the pasta's cooked, stir in the remaining cheeses until melted and serve.
  • Top with additional grated Parmesan, if desired and enjoy with a piece of warm crusty bread.


Just a reminder, this is more of a soup than a pasta dish! The pasta is not firm and al dente like a macaroni and broccoli served with less liquid. You can add more water if you prefer it more "soupy”, and you will have to add more when reheating any leftovers.